Acquire Land, Create Opportunities
Why is this important?
Minnesotans are avid outdoor recreators. Just over half of residents visit natural park areas near their homes each year and just over two thirds use paved trails for walking, hiking, skating, and biking. Other park and trail facilities are also used frequently. Yet Minnesotans who use these parks and trails often say they have too few options available to them near their homes. New and expanded park and trail opportunities will be needed to satisfy current users, as well as to create opportunities for new users.
Land needed to meet the nature-based outdoor recreation needs of Minnesotans will be acquired and/or developed.
How to Get There
To create outdoor recreation opportunities for today's users and for the users of the future, strategic land acquisition and development needs to focus on where the need for parks and trails is greatest: in areas of concentrated population, near regional centers that don't have nearby parks or trails, and tourist destinations.
Benchmarks for Desired Outcomes
In order to determine progress, providers should measure the following:
- New park and trail opportunities developed near regional centers that have few, if any, opportunities now.
- New park and trail opportunities acquired and developed in Minnesota's densely populated and rapidly growing parts of the state.
- Additional miles of trails developed near population centers and user concentrations.
- Acres of private in-holdings acquired in state parks, metro regional parks, and a sample of greater Minnesota regional parks.
- New trail connections to communities, parks and to other trails.
Top Priorities for the First Five Years of Legacy Plan Implementation
- Accelerate acquisition of private land within a park or trail boundary (private in-holdings).
- Make high-priority trail connections and fill critical gaps.
- Focus on near-home, convenient opportunities in areas projected to grow most rapidly over the coming 25 years, near regional centers, and in areas of shortage.